Of the presidents from Wilson to Hoover, who did the best job and who did a poor job of respecting the president’s job as outlined in Article II of the Constitution? Give one specific example.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The answer to this will depend to a great extent on your particular political point of view.  Our view of who is doing a good job as president is definitely colored by our views of their politics.  This is particularly true because Article II has so little in the way of specifics about what the president should do.

For example, to liberals, President Hoover might be seen as one of the presidents who did a very poor job.  This is because he did not try to have the government do much to combat the problems that were caused by the onset of the Great Depression.  This, to liberals, seems like a failure to help the people of the United States.  To conservatives, however, Hoover (and President Coolidge before him) would be seen as presidents who did a very good job.  This is because they (in this view) upheld the Constitution by refusing to let the federal government get involved in areas that it should not be involved in.

In my view, the president from this time period who did the worst job of respecting the office was President Harding.  I say this because it was in his administration that the government was notably corrupt.  Some cabinet secretaries that Harding picked, and over whom he was supposed to preside, used their offices to enrich themselves.  I would argue that this shows that he did not do a good job of selecting cabinet members or acting as their boss.

I do not see any of these four presidents as having done a particularly good job of respecting the office.  I have already mentioned that conservatives would argue that Hoover and Coolidge were good because they did not allow government to expand.  One might argue that Wilson did a good job because he fought so hard for the version of the Treaty of Versailles that he helped to negotiate.  You could say that this shows that he respected the idea that the President (and not the Senate) is responsible for making treaties.  However, I do not think that any of these four presidents was notably good at respecting the office.

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